A QAnon believer who chased U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman on Jan. 6, 2021, and apparently believed he was storming the White House was sentenced Friday to five years in prison.
A jury found Doug Jensen, of Iowa, guilty on seven counts, including felony charges of civil disorder and assaulting, resisting or impeding officers, in September. He was one of the first 10 rioters to enter the Capitol during the insurrection.
“You were not a hero and not a patriot” on Jan. 6, Judge Timothy Kelly told Jensen as he read the sentence. “But you were not a monster either.”
Jensen will additionally be on probation for three years after his release and will have to pay $2,000 in restitution.
In a brief statement to the court, Jensen assured Kelly that he wouldn’t be involved in the judicial system again and expressed his wish to go back to being a family man and to his “normal” life before politics.
“I can’t change my past, I can just look to the future,” he said.
His lawyer, Christopher Davis, told NBC News after the hearing, “I’m certain Mr. Jensen would have preferred a lower sentence,” adding that he will file an appeal on Friday.
U.S. Capitol Police Inspector Tom Loyd also addressed the court about how Jan. 6 affected him and his officers, saying the riot “changed my life forever.” He filed a document in support of Jensen’s sentencing.
Last week, the federal government asked the court to order a “mid-range sentence of 64 months imprisonment, three years of supervised release, $2,000 in restitution and a total mandatory special assessment of $520 for the five felony counts and two misdemeanor counts of conviction.” In a separate filing, Jensen’s lawyer asked that his client be sentenced to 27 months, saying that would be a “sentence sufficient but not greater than necessary.”
Jensen has been in pretrial custody since last year. He had been released in a high-intensity pretrial program, but a judge ordered him detained again after he violated the conditions of his release by livestreaming an event hosted MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who has promoted conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
On Jan. 6, Jensen recorded videos from the base of the Capitol, where he proclaimed, inaccurately, that he was at the White House. “Storm the White House! That’s what we do!” he said in one video.
In a supplemental document the U.S. attorney filed this week in support of Jensen’s sentencing, Loyd wrote about how the riot changed his life forever. “We did not attack the mob, the mob attacked us,” he wrote.
Loyd wrote that Jensen led the mob inside the Senate wing of the Capitol up to the main entrance to the Senate floor, which he said threatened “the entire United States Senate, the vice president and my personnel.” It was there that Goodman, who is credited with protecting members of Congress during the attack, diverted the rioters.
“Thankfully, the defendant was able to walk out of the Capitol Building on January 6,” Loyd wrote. “He can thank Officer Goodman. If Officer Goodman had not led the defendant and the rest of the mob away from the Senate Lobby and an attempt was made to breach those doors, there would have been tremendous bloodshed.”
If not for the “quick thinking” of Goodman, rioters would have been carried out of the building, he continued. “Many of my officers were not as lucky as the defendant. Several of my officers had to be carried out of the Capitol Building on January 6 due to injuries.”
Goodman, who testified at Jensen’s trial, had “no backup” when he faced off with rioters, Assistant U.S. Attorney Hava Arin Levenson Mirell said. And the mob, “led by the defendant,” didn’t withdraw despite being asked to by authorities.
“That was not a game of follow the leader,” Mirell said. Jensen was “weaponizing that mob.”
The House committee that investigated the Jan. 6 riot is set to release its final report detailing its exhaustive probe and findings Wednesday.